PCS: How to Calculate Mileage Rates

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1. How are rates determined to pay for business travel (TDY) by privately owned conveyance (POC)?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) establishes a tax ceiling on reimbursement for business travel by car. The General Services Administration (GSA) then sets the mileage reimbursement rate(s) for Federal employees and uniformed members at or below that ceiling. On and after 1 January 2011, GSA has set the rate for 'business travel' (TDY) at $0.51/mile. The IRS ordinarily updates the mileage rates once in each calendar year; however, on occasion a special adjustment has been made within the year in recognition of changed costs.

2. Why is there a difference between the TDY mileage rate and the MALT rate used for PCS when I have to pay the same amount for gas at the pump in either case?

There is no evidence that the Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT) (also called the PCS mileage rate) has ever been intended to reimburse for all the costs of operating a car. The MALT rate is a payment for POC travel performed by an eligible traveler based on the official distance between authorized locations. It is simply a payment in lieu of providing transportation on a commercial carrier.

The TDY mileage rates consider the fixed and variable costs to operate a car (gasoline, insurance, wear and tear, etc.) and are intended to reimburse the average expense of using a POC for the official government travel.

3. What is the current mileage rate for using my personal car for temporary duty (TDY)/local travel?

This question is harder to answer than it sounds. That's because the availability of government vehicles affects the mileage rates. For both uniformed personnel and DoD civilian personnel, there are some rules dealing with privately owned conveyance (POC) use if travel by POC is not in the Government's interest (namely limits on payment).

The table below shows the basic TDY mileage rates for the three POC types for which the Government provides a mileage allowance. Again, remember Government vehicle availability impacts the limitation on reimbursement if POC use is not in the Government's interest.

Current Local and TDY Travel Mileage Rates

POC

Rate Per Mile

Effective Date

Airplane

$1.33

1 Jan 2013

Automobile (if no government owned vehicle is available)

$0.565

1 Jan 2013

Motorcycle

$0.535

1 Jan 2013

Other Mileage Rate. Applies when:

*1. A POC is used instead of a Government furnished vehicle (if a Government vehicle is available) when Government furnished vehicle use is to the Government’s advantage; and  

*2. Inactive Duty Training location outside normal commute IAW JFTR, par. U7160.

$0.24

1 Jan 2013

4. What is the current MALT rate for using a car for PCS/relocation? Does it matter if the 'sponsor' is a uniformed service member or a DoD civilian employee?

The MALT rate is $.23/mile/authorized POC (as of 1 January 2012); applicable for both uniformed service members, DoD employees and their respective dependents. The MALT amount for authorized POC use during official PCS travel is determined by the official distance for which MALT may be paid under the circumstances (IAW the applicable provisions of the JFTR/JTR). The number of travelers in the POC has no bearing on the amount paid in MALT.

The rules for payment for the use of three or more cars for uniformed members and their dependents are in JFTR, par. U5015-B, and for DoD civilian employees and their dependents in JTR, par. C2159.

5. Which costs are used in establishing the TDY mileage reimbursement rate?

Our understanding of the GSA methodology is that the TDY mileage reimbursement allowance is based on several factors:

  1. depreciation of original vehicle cost;
  2. gasoline and oil (excluding tax);
  3. maintenance, accessories, parts, and tires
  4. insurance, and
  5. State and Federal tax.

A nationwide survey of vehicle costs is conducted by a private sector consulting firm under contract to the IRS. GSA must, by law (5 USC �5707(a)(2)(A)(i)) also study the costs and then establish a rate not to exceed the IRS standard mileage rate. Any additional information should be requested from the IRS or from GSA.

6. Is there a mileage reimbursement rate per kilometer?

There is no mileage reimbursement rate per kilometer or authority for anyone to set or use such a rate. Use the following instructions to convert kilometers to miles.

One kilometer equals .62 mile. To convert kilometers to miles, multiply the number of kilometers times .62 to give the equivalent number of miles. The equation for this would be Kilometers x .62 miles/km = Miles.

Example: To convert 84 kilometers to miles, multiply 84 km times .62 miles/km which equals 52 miles. The equation for this would be 84 km x .62 miles/km = 52 miles.

7. Which MALT rate is used for computing reimbursement for a uniformed member when PCS travel includes TDY en route?

All POC travel on a PCS order (from old permanent duty station (PDS) to TDY station, between TDY stations, and from TDY station to new PDS) is paid by the MALT rate and using the official distance determined from the Defense Table of Official Distances (DTOD). The service member or employee is paid the standard MALT rate for each POC for which reimbursement is authorized. The rate does not vary based on the number of occupants.

8. What is the mileage rate for transporting a mobile home or boat under PCS orders?

The member's mileage reimbursement vary depending on the transportation methods. The automobile mileage rate applies if a self-propelled mobile home is driven overland or over water for the official distance between the authorized points. The official distance is determined by the DTOD.

If transported as a personally procured move (PPM) or moved by overland towing, reimbursement is limited to actual transportation costs.

For a civilian employee, mobile home towed POC, other than a commercial transporter - the PCS MALT rate plus $0.11 cents is authorized for the official distance between the authorized points determined by the DTOD.

If transported as a PPM, reimbursement is limited to actual transportation cost.

9. Explain the mileage allowance rates when picking up/delivery a POV en route to/from the VPC or while still assigned to the old/new PDS?

PCS MALT Plus is authorized for an eligible member or dependent en route to the VPC for the PCS travel between the authorized points. Automobile mileage rate is paid for one round-trip between the old/new PDS and VPC official distance determined by DTOD when POV pick-up or delivery is separate from the PCS travel.

PCS MALT reimbursement for an eligible civilian employee is authorized for one-way travel for the official distance determined by DTOD when the POV pick-up or delivery is separate from the PCS travel. Actual one-way transportation cost is reimbursed not to exceed the one-way MALT rate between the old or new PDS and the VPC.

The rate does not vary based on the number of occupants.

Related Topics

Relocation PCS
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